Energizing the Workforce - Tackling Barriers

The Energy Industry is a large beacon of opportunity for people looking to enter the American work force. From the variety of fields that exist to the life changing work being done to help our planet, this industry is paving the way for positive change. The United States Department of Energy conducted a study that took a deep dive into the energy industry and reported that over 6 million people are employed by this industry. They then provide a breakdown of this number by state. Within California, there were a total of 427,614 Traditional Energy workers employed within the Energy Sector. You can find the specific breakdown here. Furthermore, California had an additional 301,348 jobs in Energy Efficiency alone! Combine the two and there are almost 3 quarters of 1 million people in CA employed by our industry. Pretty awesome right? 

Just based on these two numbers alone, we can assume that our industry’s impact is significant to the workforce. Having this much influence over the lives of not only Californians, but also Americans, comes along with a certain level of responsibility. From EE specialists to technical engineers, we are a part of a growing industry that can create a sustainable future for the world that we live in. Have I convinced you how important we are yet? If you are not fully on board, check out the full United States Department of Energy Report details here! 

One component of this report that brought the hiring/employment process to light was the breakdown of “Hiring Difficulty.” As you can see below, there are high standards in connection with level of difficulty when it comes to specific industries within the energy sector. The difficulty levels range from about 56% to as high as 76% through all 6 “Technology” types.  

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 If we solely focus on the Energy Efficiency portion of this chart, employers found the hiring process was “Very Difficult” 29.4% of the time and “Somewhat difficult” almost 50%! There is a plethora of statistical data within the report but focusing on how difficult it is to enter this industry is the point we want to get across. Using these statistics as a base point to our conversation about the Energy Efficiency Industry, opens the dialogue to a variety of questions exist. Why are the difficulty levels so high? What are the specific standards that a qualified candidate embodies? How does the hiring process work across different organizations within the EE industry?  

These are the questions that we may not often think about in relation to our work scope, however these discussions are integral to the future of our industry. Having these open conversations and getting to the root of the barriers that people face entering our industry, can enact a positive shift that will invite in new perspectives to the work we do.